© 2022 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Surge of COVID cases exacerbating other health problems in Chautauqua County

A graph showing the number of COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County since March 2020.
Chautauqua County Health Department
This graph shows the number of COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County since March 2020 and the recent surge of cases due to the Delta variant.

If it's not one thing, it's another. That was the mix for the Chautauqua County Board of Health during its meeting Thursday evening.

The meeting may have been dominated by the new surge of COVID-19 across the county and the efforts to deal with it while persuading people to be vaccinated. However, there were also problems with the water in Dunkirk and Fredonia, dirty restaurants, mosquitoes, West Nile Virus and the decrepit Busti Mobile Home Park.

This chart shows current CIVID-19 statistics compared to the number of people vaccinated.
Chautauqua County Health Department
This chart shows more than half of new COVID-19 cases are among unvaccinated residents.

Public Health Director Christine Schuyler said the mobile home park was a special problem.

"We had to ensure that if there was any possibility that we could get the owner of the park to bring that mobile home park quickly up to livable condition so people were not at imminent risk of health and safety problems and we needed to do that in lieu of making people homeless," she said.

"Portion of that was put in abeyance, but they have agreed to settle with these violations and they have paid a total of $2,850, as of Sept. 13," said Health Department Sanitarian Douglas Hamernik.

The unidentified owner has also agreed to make repairs and haul away the worst of the trailers.

Schuyler said West Nile appeared in a horse.

"West Nile Virus positive horse. The horse is being treated, but that is the first we've had for that in the county this year," Schuyler said.

Schuyler said Albany also hasn't done its usual routine testing for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.